Best of the Week for April 30

In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.

The Thing About Sex

“The greatest joy in sex is not orgasmic but in the joy of being body-to-body, soul-to-soul, and completely exposed before another person…There is no other place where a person is so exposed, so bare, so vulnerable. Sex is a declaration: This is who I am. Sex is a question: Do you accept me as I am? Sex is an answer: I accept you as you are.”

This is a really good take on what sex was really meant to be. It doesn’t shame or guilt us, while pointing to how good it can really be because of how vulnerable it makes us and how it brings together the spiritual, emotional, and physical in a way that nothing else does.

How to Pray in the Holy Spirit

“Praying in the flesh feels like an upward climb in which we are having to power up the hill. Praying in the Spirit reflects the reality of the downward slope.”

This is one of the best articles I’ve read on prayer in a long time. He does a great job of answering some nagging questions about what it looks and feels like to experience some power and effectiveness when we pray. There are no quick fixes, but this is a really practical article that can help you take some steps in the right direction immediately.

How to Parent Fearful Kids

“First, please don’t tell them that there’s nothing to be afraid of. They know better. They know that they might fail or get hurt. Telling them there’s nothing to fear will only convince them that they understand the world better than you do.”

This is a really practical approach to how to help your kids through various fears. The basic premise is to not try to convince them why they shouldn’t be afraid, but to get into it with them and help them to see a way forward. It’s about presence. Sounds a lot like Jesus!

Rethinking Culture

“Many in the church continue to believe the church maintains a central role in the life of culture. So instead of leaning toward the missionary vision of the church, we default to church as a ‘place where certain things happen,’ and we wrongly assume that those outside the church will be interested. The sooner we can come to grips with that reality, the sooner we can return to the revolutionary, missional movement that is exemplified for us in the early church.”

Another good argument for why the “attractional” model of ministry is less and less effective. I wouldn’t call it “dead” just yet, but the farther we get from “Christendom,” the faster that change occurs. How the church thrives going forward, or not, will have so much to do with whether or not we embrace our identity as a mission-oriented people.

Seek Your City’s Good

“Seek the welfare of the place where God has sent you. Think of yourself as sent there by God for his glory. Because you are. Pray to the Lord on behalf of your city. Ask for great and good things to happen for the city. Ask that they happen by God’s power and for his glory. ”

This is a short devotional thought on Jeremiah 29.4-7, and it’s a great reminder for all of us about how and why we should be fully IN (engaged in) the world, even while we are not OF it.

Be Countercultural and Enjoy Your Work

“In American culture, folks tend to live for the weekend. We call Wednesday ‘hump day’ because it’s all downhill to the weekend from there. We greet each other with ‘TGIF!’ and walk a little more slowly on Mondays. That’s exactly the opposite of the biblical vision of work, thus creating for followers of Christ an opportunity to be radically countercultural when we take the advice of Ecclesiastes and rejoice in our work.”

Following the previous article on being fully engaged in the world and cities where God has sent us, one very practical way to do that is to work in a way that we enjoy our work, to the glory of God, who created it. There is a way to do this even when we don’t love our jobs, because we rejoice in something bigger than our jobs.

Have a good week.